Oakland County will full the $ 61 million public security radio overhaul in 2022 – The Oakland Press
Oakland County’s new public safety radio system will be fully operational by the end of 2022 after repairs and upgrades valued at $ 61 million.
OAKWIN, the county 911 radio system established in 2002, is used by virtually every municipality in the county and some outside of the county to ensure that all emergency calls received from control centers are relayed to the appropriate authorities. The system, which is operated by the county on behalf of the local police, fire and rescue services, uses 19-year-old equipment that has been worn out and has exceeded its life cycle, with many of the replacement parts no longer being manufactured.
The updated system includes new portable and in-vehicle radio consoles, which are top priority and key components of a 911 dispatch center, as well as repairs and upgrades on 31 towers that are nearing completion. Over 3,500 portable radios and 2,000 mobile radios will be replaced across the county, with most being used by police departments, fire departments and local governments.
One of the most notable upgrades that wasn’t in the original plans included the addition of an emergency activation button for portable and in-vehicle radios at a cost of $ 1.9 million that sends an alert back to control centers along with a GPS signal Immediately map their location. If activated, the locations of the first responders in all 19 dispatch centers of the district are displayed with GIS map technology.
Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said the new radio system being incorporated into the Michigan Public Safety Communications System will benefit the entire county. This integration will improve interoperability with the neighboring counties and state authorities in the county.
“This advanced network uses GPS satellite technology to locate first responders during an emergency,” he said. “Previously, when an emergency button was pressed, we didn’t give an exact location for that first responder, which cost us valuable time and maybe even a life. With this upgrade, we can determine the location that will allow us to better serve the public while protecting our first responders. ”
All new mobile and portable radios will be equipped with GPS capability and software to support this feature.
For the past four years, the county has worked on the overhaul of the legacy system, which includes a nearly $ 50 million contract with Motorola Solutions to implement the $ 61 million in total system upgrades. The project will be paid off with a mix of government bonds ($ 18.5 million), 911 award income, and general fund dollars ($ 4.5 million).
From summer 2022, all users of the police, fire brigade, ambulance service and other users will be switched to the new Motorola P25 radio system for up to six months.
Oakland County Executive David Coulter said the emergency activation buttons are an important “lifesaving” function.
“My administration and the Board of Commissioners have decided it would make sense to add this lifesaving feature now while we are still in the initial stages of installing the radio system,” he said.
In the next 6-9 months, according to information from district officials, the infrastructure upgrades will be completed at both the tower locations and the shipping centers. Starting in May, all new mobile and cellular devices will be programmed for nine months.
This year the county will also complete coverage testing and installation of control room radios at all 114 fire departments in Oakland County. In March 2022, cellular installations will begin with the GPS and other functions, including emergency button activation, setup, and readiness when the system migration begins in the summer.
The county maintains and operates the radio system primarily through two sources of income, the largest of which involves collecting a monthly 911 phone charge billed to the county’s residents, which is 42 cents per month. According to the county’s Radio Communications Fund budget, the county expects $ 8.9 million in 911 surcharge fees this fiscal year.
Farmington Hills Fire Department chief Jon Unruh said the new county public safety radio system will “greatly benefit” public safety professionals across the county.
“The new GPS option gives our first responders a high level of security by being able to pinpoint their location,” he said. “The modern digital audio logging solution enables every authority to call up the radio traffic from a state-of-the-art recording system and in many cases replaces existing old devices.”
The county is also spending $ 1.36 million to purchase additional portable radios for non-first responders such as animal control officers, court and law enforcement officers, and assistant prosecutors.
Both the emergency activation button feature and portable radios for non-first responders are funded by the county’s general fund, a $ 3.26 million allocation approved by the board last week.
David Woodward, chairman of the board of commissioners, said upgrading the radio system is about making sure law enforcement agencies have the best equipment to protect themselves and the public.
“These purchases and upgrades help make all of our communities safer,” he said. “You are worth every penny.”